Dark & Scary

DSC04721Come join us at the museum to visit the exhibits AND to tell and to listen to scary poems and stories around a campfire. Bring your scary poem or story to tell. Enter the SCARY POEM Contest and win a prize. All entrants will win something.

Scary Poem Contest–Deadline October 16

Write a scary poem. Make it original and dark and scary . . . Come tell it to us on Dark and Scary Night on Oct. 24. Prizes awarded. Email or mail poem to ROMP. Include name, address, and age.

Oct. 24, Saturday

6:00-9:00 p.m.

Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry

See the VISIT US page for directions.


6:00: MUSEUM Tour
7:00: Scary Poem Contest Awards & Smores-Making
8:00: Scary Poems Around the Fire
Hot chocolate and smores will be served.

FREE and open to the public. Suitable for all ages, but parents be aware if your children do not like scary stories/poems.

For more information, call Shaun at 918-864-9152 or email 6619 S 4382 Locust Grove OK 74352


Tin Can Drum Contest

tincan1As part of the celebration of the fall season, the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry will have a Tin Can Poem Drum Contest. Make a drum from a tin can and come drum it in a rhythm circle at Autumn Movement with us!

Bring your drum out for a contest at the museum:

Saturday, Sept. 26

Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry

5:00-9:00 p.m.

Museum tours at 5:00, a drum workshop at 6:00, folk dancing at 7:00, and a drum circle at 8:00 are the events planned. Drums will be judged and prizes awarded at 6:45.

Musings, Poems


printsbeginning2I wrote a poem on a piece of a grocery sack today. A few months ago I bought the above two pieces of artwork, or as they are called on the back “wall accessories” at a thrift store. They are both prints from 1972 that are titled “We Are Engaged.” I altered one of them and am waiting on inspiration to do the other.

I like the idea of a wall accessory. I suppose a rug is a floor accessory. Is a porch a house accessory? A hanging plant an air accessory? An ice box magnet a refrigerator accessory.

Apparently, I just like the word “accessory.”

–Shaun Perkinsbeginning to learnbeginning4


In Preparation

sewingThe sewing needle rests next to my eighth
vertebrate. I cannot feel it but know
it is there. The thread circles my kidneys
like amber capillaries. A sloping
row of real pearl buttons, tiny full moons,
bump into my small intestine. Silk blocks
wrap the ligaments of my arms, as if
my bones are on fire and must be bandaged
by something cool. A piece of lace crumpled
into a triangle lines my womb. All
that I am, all of my tools and notions,
I have swallowed and absorbed. I now leave
their world. I open the door to the night
and drink my thimbles before I run out.

–Shaun Perkins



Blanco-R-Photo-High-Res-HEADSHOT-20131Home. Place. Belonging. These are the three words poet Richard Blanco repeated during his June 11th talk in Lousiville at the Convention Center. Blanco, President Obama’s inaugaural poet who penned the very popular “One Today,” described how he became a poet, how he . . . became. He did not start out as a poet, and, in fact, still works as a civil engineer, the career he trained for. But civil engineering report-writing took him to poetry and poetry took him . . . back to home.

Blanco asked, “What is home to you?” This question has propelled his writing life. Memories of his mother, grandmother, father, and brother, filled with grainy Polaroids from the 70’s, highlighted the talk, interspersed with Blanco’s characteristically sensory-rich poetry of object, place, family and harmony.

He joked about one photo featuring a vinyl green couch which he said was an “Ode to My Plastic-Covered Sofa” and described his grandmother in loving, ornery detail as a woman who shunned the Winn Dixie as being elitist and who was good at backward compliments, such as, “I love what you did with your hair . . . finally.”

He read his poem “Mother Country,” which ends with the beautiful lines in his own mother’s voice:

” . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. You know, mijo,
it isn’t where you’re born that matters, it’s where
you choose to die–that’s your country.”

I had just read Blanco’s memoir of being chosen as the inaugural poet–the process and the poems that came from it–For All of Us, One Today (which I highly recommend for anyone interested at all in the power and the call of poetry)–before the event, and ideas of poetry’s place in our world were uppermost in my mind. It is the reason I started the Rural Okalhoma Museum of Poetry (ROMP), after all—to keep expanding that place in the lives of people from all walks of life.

Near the end of the memoir, Blanco said that he makes a “conscious commitment to keep connecting America with poetry and reshape how we think about it.” During the Q&A, I got to ask him about how he is doing that. He responded that one way was talking to the audience he had right then: A roomful of teachers, all of us in the city to grade AP exams for a week.

Children, we can hope, are first exposed to poetry at home–through riddles and rhymes, wordplay and narrative poems, songs and nonsense poems. Children are poets. And then . . . something happens. The reading and writing of poetry gets lost in the way that so many schools compose their curriculum, divorcing this essential journey with words from its natural place–which is in every aspect of our lives.

ROMP exists to remind people of all ages that poetry is essential to their lives. IT IS ESSENTIAL. It is still the best form of communication for reminding us of our common humanity and our need for home, for place, for belonging.

Thank you, Mr. Blanco.

–Shaun Perkins


Things We Would Like to Hear More Often

DSC05516During my POEM LIFE show, I ask the audience to write down things they would like to hear more often, and then I use those words, phrases and sentences in the show. Below is a sampling of some audience offerings. The next POEM LIFE shows are scheduled for May 29 and June 19. Please come to one!

I had a pile of these slips of paper, and I took a picture of them and then just started typing them in the order I picked them up. I like the way they turned out. This is like a poem, and there is a practical side, too: You can see how often you say some of these things that others want to hear.

It’s time to embrace and celebrate our differences.DSC05513
Let’s take a road trip.
You look great.
What can I do to help/?
I love you.
Yes, more.
Would you like to come over for breakfast?
You did it.
You’re beautiful.
Sir, here’s your million dollars.
You can do it!DSC05515
You are worthy my time and energy.
This tastes great.
Thank you.
You are so creative!
You’re like a ray of sunshine.
You are loved.
I got that for you.
This is exactly where you are supposed to be in this very moment.
Life is beautiful.
I’m proud of you.
Earth first always!
Faith in God.
You make things better.
Here’s five dollars.
Let’s go on a road trip.
We are all one.
Thank you.
You are enough.
I love you.
I’m proud of you.
Gosh, you’re so smart.
Go for it, woman.
I love just being with you.
There will be refreshments.
You are good enough.
Good job!
Of course.
How can I help you?
I’ll help you with that!
You know what to do.

–Shaun Perkins